Latest measures to support businesses
As we enter a second period of lockdown, information in this article may have changed. Please make sure you are reading our up-to-date guidance.
With the latest number of cases of coronavirus once again on the rise, the Prime Minister reaffirms measures available to help support businesses during this difficult time.
New Job Support Scheme
With the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) coming to a close on 31 October 2020, the new Job Support Scheme will launch on 1 November 2020 and will continue for six months until Spring 2021.
The aim of the Job Support Scheme is to replace the Furlough scheme and protect businesses on two levels, depending on the level of impact as a result of the coronavirus:
For businesses trading at reduced capacity
For those who are able to continue operating with employees who can only go back to work on reduced hours (must be a minimum of 33%), employees will still be paid for two thirds of the hours they can't work (paid for evenly between the Government and the employer) - plus the full pay they would receive for the hours they do work (paid for by the employer).
For a reminder of how the Job Support Scheme will work at this level, please click here to be redirected to our summary of the Winter Economy Plan announced last month.
For businesses forced to close
For those businesses which are legally forced to close as a result of local or national lockdown restrictions (including hospitality, retail and leisure industries), this scheme can be extended to provide grants for businesses to continue paying staff who are unable to work - enabling them to get back to work faster once restrictions are lifted. Employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days for businesses to be eligible.
For eligible businesses, the Government will pay two thirds of employees' salaries, up to a maximum of £2,100 per employee per month. Employers will not be required to contribute towards any National Insurance or Pension contributions during this time.
In addition to this, businesses who cannot open will be able to apply for a cash grant of up to £3,000 per month, known as the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme. This is an uplift to the previous arrangement where businesses could claim up to £1,500 every three weeks. Businesses will be now eligible for the payment after two weeks of closure, rather than the previous three. The amount you could claim is based on your rateable value as follows:
Rateable value of £15,000 or under: £1,334 per month (£667 per two weeks of closure)
Rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000: £2,000 per month (£1,000 per two weeks of closure)
Rateable value of over £51,000: £3,000 per month (£1,500 per two weeks of closure)
How to access the help you need
As has previously been the case with other similar support schemes, payments to businesses will be made in arrears, via an online HMRC claims service. This will be available from early December 2020.
For those businesses with employees who have been affected prior to 1 November, support is currently available under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
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